KITSUNE x NBA
The name Kitsuné, means “fox” in Japanese and is a symbol of versatility. Legend has it, the fox possesses the power to change its appearance, and there is no doubt Maison Kitsuné knows how to adapt its sound and style according to inspiration.
2002 in the vibrant city of Paris, Maison Kitsuné was created by Masaya Kuroki, an architect and Gildas Loaëc, a former manager of the French electronic music duo Daft Punk. The two men developed Kitsuné to be a one-of-a-kind brand that combines their two stylistically intertwined interests: fashion and music. And now, with a partnership with the NBA, sports – what we like to call a Trifecta Effect.
We had the chance to catch up with Masaya Kuroki to discuss the collaboration, collection and inspiration behind the NBA x Kitsuné partnership, just in time for our Kitsune Pop-Up Shop in Commons Club (don’t miss out: 2.22 – 2.25, 3-9pm).
How did the partnership with NBA come about?
It came quite naturally! I have been a huge fan of the NBA since the 90’s as so many great players inspired me. A few seasons ago, players like LeBron James, DeMarcus Cousins or Carmelo Anthony started to wear Maison Kitsuné and were sharing pictures of themselves on social media, wearing our clothes. It encouraged us to believe that an official collaboration with the NBA could be possible.
What was it about basketball that was the draw for a fashion / music brand?
With this collaboration, we wanted to surprise people by bringing the world of fashion, music and sports together. The main idea was to create a connection between Maison Kitsuné’s Art de Vivre and the NBA’s world, which is also strongly linked to fashion and music.
Inspiration behind the streetwear style x NBA?
For the Kitsuné x NBA capsule collection, we reinterpreted classics like the coach jacket, denim jacket, sweatshirts and hoodies. We drew our inspiration from the 90’s streetwear and the outdoor basketball courts where I used to play with my friends. The color palette reflects the colors of the streets and playgrounds – black, shades of grey, ecru… The cuts are also looser, more oversized. How do you go about finding the right people to work with? How do these collaborations come to be?
Collaborations have been very natural for us so far. We love to collaborate with brands, artists and designers from different fields and backgrounds with talent and true savoir-faire. At the end, the key to a successful collaboration always comes down to passion, authenticity, creativity and hard work to offer a credible proposal. It’s very inspiring, enriching and challenging for us.
In regards to Kitsune, what came first? Music or Fashion?
When we founded Maison Kitsuné with my partner Gildas Loaëc back in 2002, the idea was to create both a record label and a fashion label and to put those activities under one roof to create a true brand experience. Gildas was working in the music business for years so we knew how to run a music label. For the fashion brand and the cafés, it took more time as we needed to define our positioning and look for the best partners to work with. How did one inspire the other?
I believe that what we are doing with Maison Kitsuné is very unique. We are always looking to create a synergy between our music label, our fashion brand and our cafés, while each activity works independently. Some people discover Maison Kitsuné through the record label while others discover us through the clothing brand, and now through our Cafés in Paris and Tokyo.
What’s on your playlist right now?
Kitsuné America 5: The NBA Edition, of course! If you’re interested to hear which artists we are listening to right now, you should subscribe to Kitsuné Hot Stream available on all streaming platforms – you’ll find fresh new discoveries every week!
What can we expect at the Pop-Up Shop?
Great clothes, great music and some good fun…